Interview with A.-t-

by 3D Addict

    Here comes an interview with a graphician from the Atari scene.His images are fantastic, and if you consider the fact that all of his recent images are no copy, youll agree with me that he is one of the best scene graphicians.

    3D Addict


    Ok. Let's start with the usual question.Tell me a little bit about yourself.

    My real name is Kay -t-, and now I am 26 years old. Since half a year I live in Hamburg and I like it a lot. Since April 97 I studie Communicationdesign and beside that I found a very cool job in a computergrafic-factory. In the last time I have done all the animations for a fat game (with the same promotion (and quality)-capacity as Tomb Rider), with 3D Studio MAX+Characterstudio thats a lot of fun and YES I get money for this =)..but something that is even better is that, in the following weeks I will be trained on a SGI and ALIAS/Poweranimator...I'am very happy about these things...and in the new school I also learn much about traditional grafics like comic-painting, different paint-technics etc. etc...all in all I learned a lot of new things since my last competitionpicture in march 97 and I also got a lot new influences...

    WOW!that sounds great!Every CG artist dream, I guess :)Please describe yourself as a person. Are you a cool type of a guy ormore funny one?Do you take life seriously or are you more relaxed and live the life without thinking much about the future?

    I am afraid that I'm a little bit crazy...but I can manage it =)...I live in a very relaxed way and enjoy my life. The situation right now is very good for me because I can work when I want to and I get enough money to have an enjoyable life... I don't think a lot about the future, the only ambition I have is to get a better and better graphican so that I can live easily with enough money and always just work in jobs that will bring me closer and closer to my goal... Oh, I forgot...for 3 years I have an own column in the last german ATARI-magazine (ST-COMPUTER)...where I write something about the scene and so on...

    How nice.. :)hmm, do you remember your first computer? And what computer do you use now?Do you also miss the the good old days of c64 and A500?

    My first computer was an ATARI 800XE (argh, the opponent of the C64...=)...) and I payed a lot of money for this cause I wanted to code something. At this time I was 16 years old and from this moment on I loved this hobby more and more. The simple architecture of this little "AMIGA" gave me the chance to understand a computer and how it works. Than I got an ATARI ST and later an AMIGA, too. 1994 I put my hands on a ATARI Falcon and since january 97 I have a PC, too (for faster rendering of course). Yes, I miss the fat scene-days a little bit but it's also cool to be in the professional business. I remember nights watching demos together with friends and dream about a career as a gamegraphican or something =)...

    hehe :) I guess most of os did that, back then.tell me, how and when did you become involved in the scene and when did you start drawing/tracing?

    I did my first steps with BASIC and one day I coded an own paintprogram in BASIC and drew my first digital picture with a Joystick point for point (before this I was not so intrested in grafik). I remember exactly it was a dungeon like scene...I showed this picture to a friend, he was a very good coder and he was impressed about the pic and said: Eyy man, we make an adventure! From this day on I make plans for more grafik and paint some picīs for this project (of course it was never finished but that was the reason why I made more and more grafik)...OK, a few years later (I think around 1990) I bought my first ATARI ST and was very happy about its big resolution and colourdepth (320*200 in 16 colors...grin...). I coded and made grafix again and on this machine I first looked at a demo. Yep, from this moment on I wished to be in a cool crew. And one year later I joined a crew called ACF, we made some intros and of course a megademo and that gave us a place under the most famous ATARI-crews...from this time on I was in the charts under the first 5 ATARI-grafikans...I was very proud of this and worked hard on myself...I sat nearly every day in front of my ST and painted a lot . In 1992 on a copyparty (before the megademo) I had my key expirience: I saw a french grafikan who copied a comic, until this moment I painted out of my mind only but since that time on I had the wish to make real pictures, not only little pics and logos and so on... OK, the rest is typical...I copied many artists like Boris Vallejo and Vicente Segrelle and tried to develop a cool technique to bring the originals in the best way under the limitations of the hardware. But in 1994 I got my FALCON with its unbelieveable grafikpossibilities (16 Bit colourdepth and max. resolution around 786*512). On this machine I painted my first 16Bit picture which also was my last copy of an other artist (the dragon and the persons were from V.Segrelle, the rest was my own ;)...). I think if U have (nearly) no hardware-limitations U have to go your own way, cozī itīs no special art to copy a picture one to one if U īve got so many colours and hires. Jep, U can see the rest ...

    I agree with you completely.Which hardware/software do you use for drawing, and where do you get the inspiration from?

    In my ST times I painted with DPaint ST, yes believe it , it looks different from the AMIGA one, but has the same functions. Later I painted a few pictures on my AMIGA with the original DP.,too. For pixeling I use my good old FALCON mostly, with a simple paintprogram coded by friends from the scene. I only need a cool ZOOM-function and thatīs it. But in the last half year I "played" around with my prefered renderkit (CINEMA-4D) mostly and made aditional GFX with Photoshop...not so much pixeling.
    Iīam inspired by the world around me, Iīve got the best ideas in the "Hamburger subway". If the idea is really cool I write it down at once forming the details in my mind, till the motive in my head is clear. It happens often that I go to sleep, thinking about some visual effects, then I get up and try out the idea . My entry for the Silliconvention97 rendercompo, was such a case. 70% of the work was made between 2 - 8 oīclock AM, and after sleeping I made the final touches.

    2-8 a clock? thats pretty late.Hmm, how many hours a day do you spend in front of your computer, and how many of those hours are used on making gfx?

    I think 4-6 hours every day (including job) , 3/4 of this time is involved in grafik. The rest is www or scene-things.

    ok.When drawing, do you have a perfect vision in your mind or do you draw more freely, by letting your image evolve in whatever direction you may feel like it.

    I have no a really finished motive in my mind but I do have the mood I want. During the painting it can very well be that I have a better idea for details in the picture so that the final result has not much to do with my first idea, except the mood.

    Hehe :) Please describe in steps how do you create an image.Do you start by making an sketch on paper, or is everything done on the computer.

    Until now Iīve never made a sketch before...I start with the outlines and change them until the proportions are right. Then I try out the colours I want. When that is OK, I make the details more and more exact. My own thing is that I have NO palette. In my GFX-prog I can change the RGB-chanels freely with keys so I can change the colors absolutely freely. Itīs nearly a convetional way of painting like with oil, but pixel for pixel.

    Well, I know from my own experience that it can take days and often weeks to draw a good picture.How long does it take to draw a good picture for you, and what are the most important aspects of making a great image?

    If I make a picture for a competition I change my lifestyle completely. I do nothing else and spend one - two weeks only for pixeling, mostly 15 and more hours a day. Yes itīs a hard trip, but one or two times in a year I like it =)... In my opinion the most important thing is the idea...everyone can learn a clean technique but forming a cool motive in your mind (and stand behind it) is even harder. The problem is that during the painting U see your own motive every day and half of the time U think itīs complete shit and the other half U think itīs great...itīs an emotional upīandīdown...I think the copyist doesnīt have such a close feeling of that.

    I really like your idea of "changing the lifestyle completely".I alwys try to di it myself, when I can. But rarely have time for it.Anyway, what do you find the most difficult to draw, and which phase of your drawing do you enjoy most.Personally I like mostly making the finishing touches when the image is about 95% complete.

    The hardest phase is making a motiv in outlines and find the colours, but itīs the most creative phase, too. That is the reason I like it ... the rest is a bit of a slave`s job but U get more satisfaction...itīs fun, too...

    Which of your own images do you consider as the best one and which was the most difficult to draw?

    The best one is always the latest one, but the real best one is a picture that U will still like after years. My todayīs favorite is the last piece I drew, but the hardest work I ever dealt with is my SYMPOSIUM 96 picture cozī it is in hires and not easy to paint, partly into interlace-mode...I split the picture in sections, so it is hard to get a complete picture with the right proportions...I think I have around 25Mb developing GFX, only for this pic...I plan to do a "making of" corner of some of my picīs on my website, cozī it exists a lot of people that canīt imagine how such a pixelpic evolves.

    Great idea, it could be really cool if you could post them to GFXZ as well. > Do you consider drawing in 8 bit color mode a limitation or a challenge for you?

    All my latest pictures are in 16Bit, itīs easier to develop a less sterile style...but in my ST/AMIGA times I saw the color-limitation as a challenge...from time to time I very much like making a logo or something in limitated colors...itīs a kind of sport..

    :) What do you think about raytracing?

    Jep, I spend almost the last nine months raytracing and itīs a cool way to get a fast visualisation of your idea. But many raytraced pictures are complete manure. In my opinion a better trace-man is someone who has pixelated before cozī he knows exactly what he wants from his picture. The second point is that , for example, I paint ,of course, most of the textures myself, so that I have a better control of the result...(on the professional side I ONLY trace cozī itīs faster and for animations itīs a must)...Believe me, I know what Iīm talking about cozī I have been pixelating for the last 2-3 years for games and other commercial things and tracing done right tracing is faster AND better... But the best way is a combination of all techniques... tracing, pixeling and retouch...

    I agree with you completely :)What do you think about redrawing then?

    Redrawing is very important to develop a good technique and to learn about proportions, colors etc. ...but one day U must take the next step!

    Thats very true.I just wish that more scene graphicians were willing to take the next step ASAP for their own good. Well, you have Been an active scener for some time now, you must have seen a lot of pics made by other graphicians.Who is your favourite graphician and why?

    Yes, in the past there were some AMIGA-guys like RA (sorry I donīt know all the other names) that I like. I met some very nice grafikans and respect their work but in the last few years I found the sceneoutput a bit boring. Very clean techniques but the same motives every time ...halfnaked women are so easy to paint .. And one aspect I really dislike is, that so many graphicians try to cheat only to win a competition, itīs so poor. For example on the Symposium96 there was an anonymous compo, but some guys showed their images with included alias before and after the compo on their own machines, or made another entry under a different pseudo... but the lamest assholes handed in scanned and retouched pics...itīs cool that I still won but U lose your motivation because of such things...
    My greatest respect belongs to another ATARI-scener, my frind McFLY...he gives his soul for a picture and he makes the best pixeled grafik ever seen...(hope to see him on this website in the future)...but during the last 2-3 years he has only been working on commercial things...I wish we could make a final fight =)...

    Sounds very interesting, Im sure that other graphicians would love to see McFlys work.(u have his email?) Now, I dont know how much you know about the Amiga scene but, do you have any favourite groups, musicians, coders, diskmags?Favourite demos?

    Of course, but mostly on the ATARI side of the scene. On AMIGA I enjoyed the work of īsanityī and īkefrensī ...musikans like Jester and Jasper Kyd are always remembered...but I donīt know any names of newer demos... On ATARI my favorite groups are LAZER, AVENA (my own crew)an TSCC. Musikans are TOMMY(AVENA) and STAX(LAZER) on the digital side, MAD MAX(TEX), TAO(CREAM), BigAlec(Delta Force) and Scavenger(Synergy) on the CHIPmusic side. I meet a lot of very cool coders like Tat(AVENA), Photon and Energizer (LAZER), Lucky of ST (Inter) and some guys from TSCC (sorry, there are many more)... My (gfx)respect also for Niko, Tanis, Spaz and many more...

    Yeah!I really like Sanity and Kefrens too.Productions from these old groups are simply unforgetable.Ok, what are your future party plans, are you heading for Saturne'97 or The Party'97, other parties?

    Wait and see.....Iīam not so motivated cozī itīs little challenge... But Iīam thinking about a "final fight": I will only go to another nonATARI party if I have my very best most brainblasting picture ever and if I feel certain that I rule the competition ...maybe I will find the time for this project...

    "most brainblasting pic", woW!Im really looking forward to that :)) What does the scene mean to you, and which aspects do you like/disl ike about it?

    The ATARI-scene was very important for me, we are a great family and itīs very nice to meet all the people on a party. I respect the AMIGA-scene for its creative output .

    I think that everybody should respect the Amiga scene for its creative output. Well, you are more or less a proffessional graphician, but what are your goals in this business?

    Well, Iīm nearly a prof graphican,now, and itīs nice to get money for things U like to do. My future goal is to manage professional software like ALIAS and Softimage and learn more and more every time ...and one day I would like to make computeranimations for movies or so...

    actually, I have the same goal :)Who knows, maybe some time in the future we will meet at ILM or something? hmm??!Could be cool..Anyway, what are your other interests/hobbies, besides your scene activities?

    I read a lot and I like good books very much. A cool author is Nil Stephenson. Besides that I like to be in motion on my rollerblades or on some kind of fighting arts. Since I life in Hamburg I have started a new carrier as a partyfreak, in this city U can make party every night ...itīs so cool...And on top of that I spend most of my freetime together with good friends...

    Thats great!btw, I forgot to ask you this: who is your favourite artist outside the scene?

    I like the work from Jeremy Birn (renderer) and aspects from Escher and some artist that I donīt know the names of.

    Do you believe in God?What is the meaning of life?

    NOT really. The meaning is: be, and "faß das leben an" (or 42..grin).

    One last question: how did you come up with your handle/alias?

    Ohhh no, my alias is the worst ever heard of...and the story is embarrassing, but I hate changing the alias every week...thatīs the reason why I stuck to mine for seven years, now...

    Ok, well we reached an end of this interview, would you like to say Hello to anyone?

    Yes! I wont to say hello to all creative guys in the scenes I have ever met, of course all graphicians (especially McFly (Bleick)) and the guys from my crews ACF,CREAM & AVENA...and of course my best friend JANOSCH the musikan...and at least greetings to: Silli ,Gesa ,Beret ,Merle ,Doroteh ,Moui ,Eun Young ,Yan Soon and especial to Youan Nim...

    Thank you for your time, and best of all in your future plans as a graphician. :)

    No problem, Iīam proud to be on this site...thx

    Im very glad to hear that, it makes me happy :)

    check out A.-t- gallery

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